Eye On Boise

SupCourt grants motion to expedite Highway 12 appeal, sets arguments for Oct. 1

U.S. Highway 12 runs through the scenic Clearwater/Lochsa River canyon (Courtesy photo / Clearwater National Forest)
U.S. Highway 12 runs through the scenic Clearwater/Lochsa River canyon (Courtesy photo / Clearwater National Forest)

The Idaho Transportation Department has joined ConocoPhillips in appealing to the Idaho Supreme Court a local judge's decision to revoke its permits for four huge truckloads of oil refinery equipment to travel winding U.S. Highway 12 from Lewiston to Montana, saying the decision could "end up restricting commerce and limiting business opportunities."    Meanwhile, the high court granted a motion from ConocoPhillips to expedite the court appeal, rather than take the usual time - averaging 450 days - to hear a civil appeal. However, it set oral arguments for Oct. 1. That's expedited for a Supreme Court appeal, but it's not quick enough to allow Conoco to move the four giant shipments before paving starts on the second lane of the Arrow Bridge on Highway 12, as it had hoped.

Because the loads are so wide they'll take up both lanes of the bridge, that means the earliest they could move - if everything went Conoco's way - would be late October, when the paving job is scheduled to be completed. The first lane already has been paved; Conoco has been paying the ITD's contractor to hold off on the second lane while the permits were tied up in court. You can read my full story here at spokesman.com; read ITD's filings here and see the Supreme Court's order here.




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Betsy Z. Russell





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